Category: Digital


I thought I would post some thoughts on the new EMM separates, the TSD1 transport and the EMM DAC2.
All the comments below are my take on the EMM CDSDse/DAC6se vs. the new EMM TSD1/DAC2.

Break in:
Stone cold and out-of-the-box, the new EMM was out performing my old EMM combo in many ways. After nearly a week with the DAC2 powered up, and a disc in the TSD1 on repeat mode, the new EMM combo has made a significant improvement to the sound of my system which has elevated it to a new plateau of performance. I was expecting a longer break-in process, but even with only slightly over 200 hours the TDS1/DAC2 has revealed its magic. From my past experience regarding break-in, I feel confident in saying it will only continue to improve over time.

This a blurb from EMM explaining the particulars ..............

“The chassis is completely machined thick aluminum in gorgeous brushed silver with matching metal remote when bought as a set completely redone and retooled from the CES units so they look and feel a lot better and seamless.
The DAC2 is our next generation converter with a host of digital inputs and can be used EASILY with ANY digital source. It has Ed’s MFAST technology that allows it to completely get rid of source jitter and phase distortion inherent in all 2 or multibox systems and acquire audio seamlessly in milliseconds even from the most difficult sources like Satellite Radio, DVB, Computer systems, portable media players etc. It also has all of Ed’s prior technologies, MDAT up-conversion technology where incoming audio is up-sampled to 2X SACD (5.6Mhz) and Ed’s discrete custom built DA converters all built on composite aerospace EMMbed PCB circuit boards. Along with the regular I/O like AES, SPDIF, TOSLINK etc. it also has USB Audio port for connection directly to computers and music servers.
The TSD1 is has the built in MDAT up-converter and 2008 German drive plus it sports the new transport software and LCD screen. It also has the new single fiber EMM Link for interconnection between it and the DAC2.”

Built Quality:
As someone who went from the old EMM separates to the new EMM separates, they do in fact (at least to me) feel like new and much improved products and not just a slight revamp from the old EMM set. EMM's reputation with audiophiles has been one of, very high on brains, (sonics) but leaving a question mark for some in the area of robustness, reliability, and overall 'niceness". I do think the new EMM combo has gone a long long way in addressing these issues. Reasons? For one, the transport seems quicker to respond from input of the remote. The new German transport drive instills way more confidence and seems to be more substantial in construction then the previous EMM drive. My brushed aluminum silver set has a look of quality and solidity, as well as a very heavy remote ... nice!

The Sound:
To start ... DETAIL, and plenty of it. It is now so much easier for the listener to discern individual parts and complex passages can now be easily dissected. But it's not the etched hi-fi detail that is a by-product of tonal abbreviation. The tonal perspective is not all that much different from the old EMM combo. Oh sure, it goes higher in the highs with more delicacy and the lows are now more extended with more definition. But for me, it's all about the energy. It's as if the energy within each individual sound has been somehow intensified, the slightest most minute shift in energy is now that much more apparent. I'm not talking about volume here. The impact this new found energy has on the sound equates to ... Timbre/texture of tone now has more density, life, and vibrancy. The articulation of a rhythm sounds more .. well rhythmic, and the rhythms contribution to the music is more meaningful. For me this particular virtue struck me as being quite profound, as I never experienced this quality to this degree in the past. The nothing-less of the black background's sound is now more silent and the contrast of sound emulating from it is just more vivid then before. Even the sound of the air in the sound-space now seems to have more energy and weight. The sound-stage and its space is wider, deeper, and the transparency has gone up significantly. Overall, and in every aspect, the sound of the music has gained conviction!

One would tend to think with all this new detail and energy that the sound is now more forward or forced upon the listener. But no, it actually has a more relaxed sense of ease and musical flow. It breathes, its presentation invites and draws the listener in. For me, the whole musical listening experience is that much more compelling and captivating.

Highly recommended? yeah ... I'm loving it!!!



associated equipment .....

Preamp: Balanced Audio Technology - REX

Amplification: Balanced Audio Technology VK-150se mono-blocks

Speakers: Avalon Acoustics - Eidolon Diamond

Cabling: Nordost - Valhalla - interconnects - speaker cables - (3) power cords - other power cords - Kimber Cable and Absolute

Equipment Rack: Finite Elemente Master Reference

Amp Stands: Zoethecus with z-slabs
what is the pricing?
Hello Arbuckle,

DAC2 list for $9,000

TSD1 list is $11,500
Thanks for posting your review. Have you compared the sound when a redbook signal is received from the TSD1 versus when a 16/44.1 signal is received on any of the other digital inputs? They claim their new technology makes each input signal "jitter free" regardless of which input. So, I think this means the signal from the TSD1 should be equal to the signal on any of the other digital inputs.

Thanks for any input you can provide.
Hello Bigamp,

I'm afraid I can't help you on that as I haven't used any other digital sources.